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Tim Boxer


FIVE TO DIE The Book That Helped Convict Manson
Ivor Davis Reissues The Book
That Put Charles Manson Away

UR Hollywood columnist Ivor Davis has updated his sensational Five To Die: The Book That Helped Convict Manson. The book was first published in 1970.The new version has just been published by Thor Books, a division of Ether Publishing. The softcover book, 320 pages, is available for $14.95 at www.mansonfivetodie.com.

Soldiers of Reason: The RAND Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire
Exposing A Secret World

AND, the secretive think tank (named "Research and Development") that sits by the beach in Santa Monica which initially advised the United States Air Force, and now the Pentagon, has been the intellectual beacon that navigated America through the second half of the 20th century, successfully for the most part. Except where it failed us, as in Vietnam.

The brain power of such Cold War RANDites as Albert Wohlstetter and Herman Kahn spared us (and the Soviet Union) from nuclear holocaust. Kennedy-era Randites like Robert McNamara spearheaded the Vietnam war. RAND theories shaped the views of such Bushites as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Donald Rumsfeld in the conduct of the Iraq invasion.

"RAND has literally reshaped the modern world—and very few know it," says Alex Abella. Now we know, thanks to his profound investigation of the Soldiers of Reason: The RAND Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire. "Think of this book," Abella writes, "as the red pill that will make visible the secret world that rules us all."

One example will suffice to show us how a RAND-inspired initiative resulted in explosive consequences that impacted on the entire world to this day. That was the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, "a debacle that pointed the way to the horror of September 11, 2001." (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 388 pages, $27 Amazon.com Price: $10.58)

Voices From The MoonPage Turners

}Voices From The Moon is a handsome coffee table with 160 remarkable pictures of the lunar experience. Andrew Chaikin spent 150 hours interviewing the Apollo astronauts to bring us their vivid recollections of how they felt when they made history on a visit to another world. “There was that moment,” says Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11, “right after we touched down, when…we just kind of looked at each other and —I’m not sure how it happened, a slap on the back, or whatever—but there was that, just, little moment of, Hey—we made it.” (Viking Studio, 224 pages, $29.95 Amazon.com Price: $19.77)

Leonard Maltin’s 2010 Movie Guide}Leonard Maltin’s 2010 Movie Guide is the definitive film reference guide with more than 17,000 entries. It has been for 41 years. This oversized paperback is even bigger than ever – by one page! The index of leading actors and directors, listing each one’s output of movies, is quite extensive and specially useful. (Plume, softcover, 1645 pages, $20 Amazon.com Price: $9.99)

Singing Was the Easy Part}Singing Was the Easy Part, is a fascinating look inside the celebrity world of the great singer Vic Damone. His emotional memoir, written with outstanding biographer David Chanoff, brings us on a journey along with Frank Sinatra, Don Rickles and numerous other legendary personalities. Damone’s personal life and marriages is heart-rending, warmhearted and full of challenges that he overcomes with grace. Overflowing with exciting anecdotes, the book reads like a movie. A real page turner. (St. Martin’s, 271 pages, $25.95 Amazon.com Price: $17.13)


Growing Up at Grossinger’s}Growing Up at Grossinger’s is Tania Grossinger’s engrossing memoir. Besides relating her day to day experiences at the legendary resort in the Catskills, Tania reveals a secret or two about some of the innumerable celebrities who stayed or worked there. She plays down the notion that Elizabeth Taylor stole Eddie Fisher away from Debbie Reynolds as we all thought. In fact, Eddie’s marriage to Debbie was doomed from the start. During all the time she spent with them, she says she "never quite believed they were really in love with each other." Skyhorse/W.W. Norton, softcover, 224 pages, 25 photos, $14.95 Amazon.com Price: $10.17)

Photoshop Elements 7: The Missing Manual}Photoshop Elements 7: The Missing Manual is the ultimate book on the subject. The Missing manual series from O’Reilly is the creation of David Pogue, the New York Times technology columnist whose Thursday article is a must-must-read. This superb guide to everything you want to know about the latest Elements is so well written, with wit and style, it’s very easy to digest. (O’Reilly, softcover, 575 pages, $44.99 Amazon.com Price: $29.69)

Fearless Confessions}Fearless Confessions is such a dynamic guide to memoir writing it has inspired me to completely refine and retool the memoir I’m working on. Sue William Silverman, a faculty advisor at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, is an amazing master of the language. Her prose is as enjoyable as it is instructive. This should be an essential textbook of any creative writing course. She gives examples of memoir pieces and analyzes each one, showing how they work, why they’re powerful, and even why some fail to impress. (University of Georgia Press, softcover, 272 pages, $19.95 Amazon.com Price: $14.36)

The Last Godfathers: Inside the Mafia’s Most Infamous Family}The Last Godfathers: Inside the Mafia’s Most Infamous Family is a fast-paced inquiry into the Corleone family in Sicily. John Follain, a British journalist who specializes in organized crime, serves up such a huge plate of mafia stories that Coppola could easily cook up a dozen Godfather sequels. Especially riveting is the successful search in Palermo for the godfather, Bernardo Provenzano. Just like a movie, only it’s real. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 360 pages, $25.99 Amazon.com Price: $18.97)

Saladin}Saladin, by Hannes Mohring, an Orientalist scholar at the University of Bayreuth, shows how Christians fought a Crusade in the Holy Land and massacred Muslims in Jerusalem, Haifa, Caesarea and Beirut, and how the Muslims under Sultan Saladin in turn took to jihad in their reconquest of Jerusalem. Victory over Jerusalem meant much more to the Christians in Europe than to the Muslims in the East, to whom Jerusalem was less important than Mecca and Medina. Everyone in turn claimed the Holy City for its own exclusive reign. Under Christian rule Muslims were forbidden to live in Jerusalem. In modern times, under Muslim (Jordanian) rule, Jews were barred from the Old City. Mohring creates a sweeping saga of the Noble Heathen who went up against the Christian invaders who’d come to liberate the Holy Land from its resident Muslims. Saladin was born in Tikrit, just like Saddam Hussein, the modern day Saladin. The book was translated by Paul M. Cobb, associate professor of Arabic and Islamic history at the University of Pennsylvania. (Johns Hopkins University Press, softcover, 113 pages, Amazon.com Price: $20.00)

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